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Ultrastructural observations on (pseudo-) exfoliation of the lens capsule: a re-examination of the involvement of the lens epithelium.
  1. J. P. Bergmanson,
  2. W. L. Jones and
  3. L. W. Chu


    One lens each from 2 separate patients suffering from pseudoexfoliation and one lens from a normal eye were examined ultrastructurally. The normal lens capsule was internally lamellar in places and externally of a somewhat reduced electron density but otherwise of a homogeneous appearance and free of inclusions. Observations on the abnormal lenses revealed an electron dense and mainly granular but sometimes fibrillar material along the surface of the peripheral one-third of the capsule. Material of similar ultrastructural appearance was also found deeper in the capsule and in the immediately underlying epithelium. Since the capsule close to the pole of the lens was completely free of these abnormal inclusions and the underlying epithelium also lacked this material, it is concluded that the lens epithelium is a source of the surface debris in pseudoexfoliation. These findings therefore support previous authors who proposed a lenticular involvement in this disease. The present study does, however, not rule out the possibility of a uveal contribution of abnormal material but disputes its exclusive involvement in this disease, as has previously been postulated. Build-up of exfoliated material close to the capsular surface caused an apparent peeling of the lens capsule. It is therefore concluded that the anomalous lenses suffered from a true exfoliative process that may be more correctly termed 'exfoliation of the lens capsule.'

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